You’ve heard of a snake bite, spider bite, mosquito bite, but there’s no bite like a Tishbite! I’m talking about the prophet Elijah “the Tishbite” (1 Kings 17:1). His messages were biting, but we could use prophets today, like him, who have some teeth. When Elijah stepped on the scene it was like the sun bursting forth from behind a black storm cloud. Ahab and Jezebel had turned the Samarian White House into a doghouse. The political system was corrupt. Evil abounded. God’s prophets were in hiding. Then bang, Elijah showed up like a lightning bolt, saying, “As the Lord God of Israel lives…there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word” (1 Kings 17:1). How’s that for a guy’s debut sermon, turning the skies into brass? Shouldn’t he have eased into his new position, maybe win the deacons over and make a few friends on the city council? Instead, Elijah let the powers that be have it with both barrels. Like I said, there’s a bug bite, frostbite, gigabyte and terabyte, but nothing bites like a Tishbite! When Elijah’s hour came to face the heathen king, he didn’t bite his tongue. Instead his words bit the conscience of a nation. Elijah was a spiritual troubleshooter, on call 24-7, who made his emergence in a time of national emergency. God give us another Elijah!
First, consider the bite of his OBSCURITY. Being a Tishbite means he was from Tishba, an obscure village in upper Gilead, a no-name from nowhere. He was an “unknown” so far as the Establishment goes but God knew where he was, in Tishba, on his knees in prayer. And He knows where you are too. Elijah showed up and showed out from the start because he had the backing of heaven. Obscurity in location doesn’t matter when there is purity of heart.
Second, consider the bite of his AUDACITY, as Ahab became the target of the Tishbite’s teasing taunts. He stuck his finger in the king’s nose and cried, “I have not troubled Israel, but you, and your father’s house…” (1 Kings 18:18) Thank God for every Nathan or John the Baptist that is bold enough to preach, “Thou art the man”, even if it costs him his job, or worse yet, his head. As R.G. Lee preached, “Don’t blame the firehouse siren if the house is on fire”. The Tishbite wasn’t the cause for Israel’s national woes; he just brought it to the news editor’s attention.
Then third, consider the bite of his INTEGRITY. He didn’t back down when the whole religious community, 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of the groves, were against him. No ecumenical “get-alongism” for the Tishbite. When other preachers wimped out, he headed to the top of Mt. Carmel for a showdown between mono and polytheism and called fire down from heaven. Of course, there is a degree of sacrifice that goes along with the job description. An arrest warrant was issued for Elijah’s head. True prophets won’t be given the key to the city; more likely they’ll be banned from preaching there. A ministry that “bites” always has its critics, but then again, it also has its crowns. Elijah went out on a chariot of fire. That’s a lot better than finishing one’s ministry playing checkers. We too can end in a blaze of glory, but it demands sharp gospel teeth.
Say it again, nothing bites like a Tishbite. Got teeth?
Let us know if you enjoy these “Up-Words” mini-messages!
All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson